Dr. Abdulnasir Hossen,
Abdulnasir Hossen got his Ph.D. from the Ruhr-University in Bochum-Germany in 1994 and has completed his postdoctoral requirements from the university of Kiel-Germany in 1997, both in the area of digital signal processing. Since 1999, Dr. Hossen is at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. On June 2013, he became a full professor and currently he is also the Director of the Communication and Information Research Center at the same university. His main topics of interests are signal processing in general with emphasis on biomedical signal processing, telemedicine, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Prof. Hossen is a senior member of IEEE, and a focal person of ITU at Sultan Qaboos University. He is the chairman of the organizing committee for FOSSC2019 and the International Symposium on Telemedicine and AI in Medicine held at SQU Feb. 2020 and the International Symposium of Adoption of FOSS for Intelligent Education and Digital Economy held at SQU Feb. 2022. Prof. Hossen has about 100 publications in international journals and conferences. He got the DAAD research scholarship award in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2015, and 2018. Prof. Hossen established a new IoT Lab at SQU with support from Omantel.
Artificial Intelligence in Education: Study and Implementation
Education plays a pivotal role in the attainment of the principal objectives outlined in the sultanate's Vision 2040, a comprehensive blueprint for the nation's long-term economic advancement. In the past decade, artificial intelligence applications have been utilized to tackle a range of learning challenges, such as language processing, reasoning, planning, and cognitive modeling. Education and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have a symbiotic relationship, as they were designed to complement each other. In contrast, education serves as a mechanism for cultivating intellectual faculties that enable individuals to effectively utilize the reservoir of knowledge, while artificial intelligence provides instruments for enhancing the comprehension of intricate mechanisms and processes. Artificial intelligence offers a multitude of advantages in the field of education, including various aspects such as tutoring, grading, personalization, feedback on course quality, and prompt student response, among others. According to several perspectives, the primary objective of 'Artificial Intelligence' is to function as a virtual facilitator inside educational contexts. The objective of this project is to develop virtual humanoid entities capable of exhibiting human-like cognitive abilities, behaviors, reactions, and natural communication skills. These entities are designed to effectively respond to and utilize both spoken and nonverbal forms of communication.
The objective of our study, entitled "Artificial Intelligence in the Education System at Sultan Qaboos University," was to initially investigate the utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the global education sector, as well as within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The subsequent step involved the execution of a prototype or MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of a Virtual Assistant (Chatbot) tailored for the visitors and students of Sultan Qaboos University, encompassing the integration of input and the assessment of pilot test outcomes. The development of this Chatbot utilized IBM Watson, a prominent platform in the conversational AI industry. Subsequently, the focus shifted towards the examination of methods to enhance the teaching and learning process through the proposition of a well-designed and automated system. This system encompasses enhancements to the course feedback process, online advising, and course material management, with the potential integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques wherever applicable. Finally, investigations have been conducted in numerous domains where Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can provide assistance to teachers, students, and the university as a whole.
The implementation of conversational AI involved the development of a chatbot (namely SQU-ChatBot) equipped with many features and functionalities to facilitate communication for students, staff, and guests of Sultan Qaboos University through chat-based interactions. This project encompassed three primary deliverables, at present: the development of a Chatbot for providing assistance and information, the establishment of course offerings and connections, and the implementation of a system for gathering course feedback and advising.
The conducted study was a comprehensive investigation that incorporates multiple sides of integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the educational context at SQU. The aforementioned areas encompass the benefits and challenges linked to the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the formulation of strategic plans, the examination of global viewpoints, the exploration of ethical concerns, the assessment of technological feasibility, and the potential ramifications of AI in the field of education. In conclusion, several avenues for future research were proposed, encompassing the expansion of the tasks undertaken in this study as well as the introduction of novel concepts.